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Key Findings Details

Understanding Participation in SSI
Kathleen McGarry and Robert F. Schoeni
WP 2015-319

· Discussions of potential changes frequently include increases in the normal retirement age and changes to the Consumer Price Index—both of which will reduce benefits. These benefit reductions are likely to have significant implications for the well-being of low-income elderly who depend heavily on Social Security.

· There remains a subset of elderly with incomes below the poverty line, and many of these individuals are not enrolled in the SSI program. Here we begin to examine the relationship between family and public assistance.

· While we find some evidence of substitution between sources of assistance, it is small.

· We are currently augmenting our study with additional years of data and a more complete accounting of state benefits.